Several Random & Unrelated Thoughts

…but isn’t that what this blog is all about anyway?

I’ve had a few people ask me why we do certain things during our Lord’s Day worship services. “Why do you do it this way?” “Why don’t you do that?” You know the type of questions.

Why don’t you have a “seamless” worship service: one where everything flows right into the next bit, one where the people who are to lead the singing are right up there, ready to sing when they’re supposed to, where the person praying or reading Scripture is ready on the spot, where there are no long pauses of silence?

Because we need times of silence. Because we need those pauses to catch our breath, to let us think, to allow us to sense God’s presence and working among us. We’re so accustomed to the constant noise around us (come on, you know who you are: first thing up in the morning, the radio’s on or the TV’s blaring; you can’t walk or sit or drive without the stereo or iPod on; there has to be noise all the time). Give someone ten seconds of silence, especially in a worship service and they start to get nervous. Pause for 30 seconds of silent prayer and pretty soon, eyes begin to peek around to see what happened and what others are doing.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46.10, ESV)

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37.7, ESV)

The next time it gets quiet during one of your worship services, recite these two verses to yourself, bask in the silence and let God be God to you for those few moments.

Misery Loves Company

Ever noticed how true this little truism is? If you’re miserable, you want others to know that you’re miserable. It’s just no fun being miserable alone. Either you want them to, at the very least, acknowledge your misery; or, you want them to become miserable with you.

Another word for this type of behavior is “self-pity.” Self-pity is a form of pride.

“Pride? How can that be?” you may well ask.

Pride is the sin of unbelief in thinking that God knows what’s best, that He is in charge accompanied by the belief that you can do better because, well, you’re you and you ought to know what’s best for yourself. Even in self-pity, we see this. You’re feeling sorry for yourself. Things have not gone your way. You’re desires have been stepped on or set aside by others and now you’re angry. So, you sulk off to a corner, thinking, “Fine, let them have their way. They’ll soon realize how right I was, how excellent my plan was, how cool it would have been to do what I wanted to do. And while they’re waiting for that to happen, someone, anyone better come along and see how much I hurt because they didn’t take my idea. They’d better come and sit with, flood me with their pity and sympathy, try to console me, because after all, I’m, well, me!”

It’s not just children or teenagers who do this. I’ve seen and know adults who are masters at it. Some might call it “playing the martry”, but if you see it for what it really is, it’s just another form of the sin of pride. May God be gracious and grant repentance to me, er, uhm, I mean, “THEM” repentance for this sin.

Vacations & Blogging

I’m a week and a half back from vacation and I still can’t seem to get the discipline of blogging regularly into my schedule. And then, there’s Tim Challies, who ever while on vacation, just can’t seem to give it a rest. I’d love to sit down with him and discuss not only how he does this so consistently, but why he does this so consistently, when true rest means setting aside some of the things you regularly do in order to ease your mind about other things. Very few might agree with that idea of rest, but I realized that even while traveling with Ann a few weeks ago and attempting to blog 1-2 times, I was not only cheating her of time, but myself as well.

But now I’m back and I’ve blogged one time. Time to get at it. I have a theme I’d like to try to follow tomorrow, deo volente, and we’ll see how that goes.

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